“District representatives met with representatives from the Greater Santa Cruz Federation of Teachers for 5 hours yesterday. During negotiations, the Federation made an offer of 3.25% increase of the salary schedule. Because of a number of previous bankruptcies of school districts (Oakland, Vallejo, San Jose), state law requires that before a public school district can agree to an on-going salary increase, it must submit to the County Office of Education a 3-year projection of the financial impact of the increase on the district’s budget. The District’s projections indicate that the Federation’s 3.25% offer will bankrupt the school district by the end of the 2014-2015 school year by more that $880,000.
The District, seeking a creative solution, offered an option of 3% one-time or a flat dollar amount of $1,705 for each teacher. The idea behind the flat dollar concept is that it would especially help our newest teachers, teachers earning the least and those teachers most in need in our community. The payments could be made prior to the winter holidays. This offer was rejected by the Federation.
Since the District is concerned about the impact of the current dispute with the Federation and its effect on our students, the District offered to revisit in the spring of 2014 the issue regarding whether a salary schedule increase in the amount of 3% could be maintained without jeopardizing the District’s finances. The state has adopted an entirely new system of school finance, which will not be implemented until the spring. At that time the rules of the new system, yet to be adopted, will be known and the District will have certainty regarding new revenues it may or may not receive. The Federation’s representative will be considering this proposal, which will be discussed at the next negotiating session scheduled for October 17, 2013.
At issue in our negotiations is how to successfully meet the District's goal of providing an increase in compensation for teachers, while also ensuring the District is fiscally sound. The District’s number one goal is to take care of our students and ensure they are ready to meet the future. Teachers are at the heart of making that goal possible.
Two years ago our teachers made a big sacrifice by agreeing to furloughs. Thanks to the voters, Proposition 30 passed, which provided funding to end the furlough in our district. Unfortunately, Proposition 30 did not provide any additional funding to support additional compensation. The District cannot agree to the Federation's current offer because it will cause cuts to programs, increases in class sizes, and teacher and classified staff layoffs as soon as the 2014-2015 school year. The District looks forward to continuing talks with the Union and hopes for a resolution on October 17.”
See graphic above to see how much teachers earn compared to other local districts.